Fintech with major Edinburgh and Glasgow presence unveils strategic £242m takeover

Nucleus Group, the fintech business created following James Hay Partnership’s 2021 takeover of Edinburgh-based Nucleus Financial, is undertaking a key acquisition that creates a platform with some £80 billion of assets under administration.

The group said the cash takeover of Curtis Banks Group for 350p per share marked a 32.1 per cent premium to the closing price before the commencement of the offer period and valued Curtis Banks at about £242 million. From its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Salisbury, Nucleus Group administers customer assets across a range of investment products.

Chief executive Richard Rowney said: “Our ambition remains to create the UK’s leading platform, exclusively for financial advisers to help them make retirement more rewarding for their customers. We’re already demonstrating the benefits of scale, enabling investment in technology, people, products, price and service. Curtis Banks not only adds further significant scale to our business but will complement our existing expertise and benefit our combined adviser base providing added flexibility and optionality.”

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David Barral, executive chairman of Curtis Banks, added: “The board of Curtis Banks is pleased to be recommending the Nucleus Group’s offer for the company, which represents a significant premium in cash and offers certain value for our shareholders. Curtis Banks recognises Nucleus’ established reputation and strength in the adviser platform market, as well as our shared customer-centric approach and aligned corporate values. The combined group’s greater scale, efficient platform, broader product proposition and enhanced ability to invest in technology and service will benefit all stakeholders.”

In August 2021, James Hay Partnership acquired Nucleus Financial Group in a £145m deal and combined both businesses to create Nucleus Group. Over the last couple of years, the group is said to have overhauled and “significantly invested in its senior management team”, as well as employing 120 new staff across the business in the last 12 months alone.

Bosses said advisers currently served by Curtis Banks would benefit from access to a broader suite of platform services available within Nucleus Group’s existing offering. The acquisition of Curtis is conditional on, among other things, approval by Curtis Banks’ shareholders and regulatory approvals.

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